The Tottenham coach, Ange Postecoglou, stated that a few of his players became focused on protecting themselves after losing the opportunity to regain first place in the Premier League with another loss in just six days. He recognized that his team lost momentum and energy at Wolves and were unable to capitalize on Brennan Johnson’s goal.
In the second half, Wolves scored two goals during stoppage time to secure a remarkable comeback victory. Pablo Sarabia, who came in as a substitute, and Mario Lemina were the goal scorers. Johnson’s first goal for Tottenham was overshadowed by these late goals.
Postecoglou stated that the team was in the lead and many of the players had not played in a while, causing them to focus on preserving themselves until the end of the game. This was expected considering the lineup of players on the field.
Despite taking an early lead in the third minute, he noticed that his team became less active. He expressed, “We had a good start but we could have been more proactive and assertive, especially with possession.” However, he also acknowledged that there were numerous changes made in the lineup, with three players from the back four essentially starting for the first time this season.
“We have also implemented a few alterations higher up, which may affect the fluidity of the situation. However, we could have approached it with a more positive mindset.”
This is the initial occurrence in which Postecoglou, while managing Celtic, has experienced consecutive losses since September 2021. Although his team suffered their second defeat this week, the Australian manager remained diplomatic. The first defeat ended their unbeaten streak against Chelsea on Monday, during which Destiny Udogie and Cristian Romero were red-carded.
Postecoglou had to make four substitutions due to injuries to James Maddison and Micky van de Ven, who will be out until the new year with ankle and hamstring injuries. Additionally, Romero and Udogie were suspended. In their place, Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg made their first starts of the season, while Ben Davies and Emerson Royal made their second.
“Some members of the team have already competed in their first matches of the year. Making changes to three out of four defensive players can be quite disruptive, especially when those players have not had any playing time prior,” stated Postecoglou. “However, this experience will only benefit them in the long run. They will be more resilient now that they have a match under their belt, so there are many positive aspects to take away.”